The day before yesterday we went out for a dinner in the evening.
I was depressed. The night before, I had watched this funky little movie called My Sassy Girl, which, too exaggerated to be interpreted even literally (it’s a bad old habit of mine, interpreting movies metaphorically, which once led me to state, to the great disapproval of my friends, that Gangster, King Kong and Silence of the Lambs shared the same thematic attraction dressed up differently), made me contemplative about my life nonetheless, and any time I think about my life, I get depressed.
The conversation on the dinner table seemed by and large redundant, and we drifted from topic to topic. Personally, I was left shocked by my recent encounter with the kaamwali bai (the maid servant, who in my frank opinion is too old to be a maid), who seemed to be after my clothes with such enthusiasm that Arun once remarked that she wanted me to strip!
There lies the crux of the matter. My clothes! On my third day in here, I agreed to pay her to wash my clothes. When I informed Anshul about it to confirm that the bai was employed by everyone else too, he gave me an enigmatic smile and nodded his head. I felt uneasy, but I forgot all about it until the bai cornered me three days afterwards.
I am not a man given to violence by temperament, and till the bai pounced on me on the matter of the clothes I was wearing, I had no idea what the usual jokes about women trying to change men meant. She demanded why I had not taken bath (actually I had), why I was wearing the same set of clothes for the last five days (actually it was six days), why I had not given her any clothes at all to be washed, and how did I propose to remain a social proposition with so many bad habits.
Impatiently, I clarified on the only point I thought was relevant, that our arrangement was monthly, that I would pay her whether she washed any of my clothes or not.
Whoever wanted men to learn from experience was a short-sighted fool, because, you see, experience is the worst possible teacher, in that it gives the tests first and the lessons afterwards. I had failed my test, and I do not care to elaborate on the aftermath.
Anyway, the whole encounter led me to remark on the dinner table that romantics aside, the bai was quite like our heroine from My Sassy Girl. Upon this, I was threatened to take my remark back, and I tried to play the suave guy by clarifying that I was merely thinking of intimidating women. But the public, ignoring my quips, assured me that I was going to have to pay dearly for my misplaced remarks.
Such is life!